BEN WEINGARTEN

Reader. Writer. Thinker. Commentator. Truth Seeker.

Tag: Capitalism

My Interview with Keith Hanson on President Trump’s 2017 UNGA Speech

I dissect President Trump’s 2017 UNGA speech and discuss the ironic backlash to the Kirkpatrickian philosophy of “principled realism” that backed it during the below interview with Keith Hanson on WNTK beginning at 2:53:

Government Thinks You’re Too Dumb To Try Crowdfunding

Over at The Federalist, I write about how the SEC is subverting perhaps the only piece of pro-market legislation passed during the Obama administration in the so-called “crowdfunding” component of the JOBS Act.

This bill was supposed to democratize startup funding by allowing you and I to invest in the next Uber. Instead, in its implementation of the law, the SEC is completely undermining that aim and discouraging companies from availing themselves of crowdfunded equity altogether.

Here is a taste of the piece:

Market participants in crowdfunding would invest in companies with varying levels of disclosure on varying terms based upon risk-reward payoffs they deem appropriate. In fact, while startups are loathe to provide detailed information on their operations, some companies would voluntarily provide more robust disclosures to entice greater investment on more company-friendly terms, thereby creating a potential race to the top without government coercion.

Moreover, market participants are perfectly capable of determining for themselves how much money they should invest in speculative startup ventures. Americans are free to spend as much as we want on everything from doughnuts to liquor and lottery tickets. Investing in startups may provide only marginally better odds than the latter; at the very least it has the upside of leaving us thinner and sober. Why should government leave us free to choose on how we spend on some things, but not others?

Read the whole thing here.

 

Featured Image Source: JoBlo.

7 Minutes With Jim Grant Tells You All You Need to Know About World Markets Today

A must-watch interview with the publisher of the great Grant’s Interest Rate Observer conducted by Reason’s Matt Welch:

For a much deeper dive with Jim Grant from several months back, check out my interview with him on the insightful and ever-relevant The Forgotten Depression.

I spoke about it with TheBlaze’s Mike Opelka starting at 21:43 below:

 

Featured Image Source: YouTube screengrab/Reason.

An In-Depth Conversation with AEI President Arthur Brooks on “The Conservative Heart”

Full Interview

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If Hillary Clinton Wants to ‘Topple’ the One Percent, She Should Start With Herself

Hillary Clinton, without a hint of irony, has reportedly called for “toppling” the 1 percent. So the putative favorite for the Democratic presidential nomination intends to target those who — like herself, her husband and the benefactors of her family foundation — are the wealthiest of the wealthy.

If Mrs. Clinton is seeking to upend a system that pays off a select group of elite insiders who profit by undertaking cronyistic, anti-free market acts, I applaud her. But if Mrs. Clinton is rather seeking to punish the few who have amassed great wealth by producing goods and services for their fellow man, Hillary ought to be pilloried.

Hillary Clinton. (AP Photo/Molly Riley)

Hillary Clinton. (AP Photo/Molly Riley)

Any national conversation convened by Mrs. Clinton on disparities in wealth should begin with a long look in the mirror. Hillary and Bill Clinton have obtained their wealth not by meeting a true market demand, but by transacting in the political marketplace of power and influence.

Distasteful as we might find this, one cannot blame them – at least to the extent to which they were not effectively compensated for fulfilling or seeking to fulfill their end of a bribe.

For though an extreme example of successful political entrepreneurs, the Clintons are a mere symptom of a problem created by government itself, which like all institutions seeks to protect, preserve and enrich its own.

People like the Clintons, Eric CantorDeval Patrick and thousands of other well-connected “public servants” find highly remunerative work while out of office because political access and protection are prized in the marketplace.

Political power is only prized by the marketplace because there is something to be bought. Political payoffs, to our nation’s detriment, are simply seen as the cost of doing business.

Stated differently, because we have a hyper-regulatory state today that is all-intrusive and all-powerful, currying political favor may be the difference between life and death, endless riches and cataclysmic failure.

Continue reading at TheBlaze…

20 Signs You Are Living in a Progressive Utopia

It can be said that progressivism at its core seeks to turn the world upside down.

It is an ideology and a tactic of modern-day Sophists who seek to replace facts with narrative, justice with injustice, morality with immorality and virtue with vice — but it does so with a smile on its face.

Consequently, in order to identify whether one is in fact living in a progressive Utopia, one merely needs to identify instances in one’s society, economy and political system, themselves a natural outgrowth of the culture (itself an outgrowth of the ideas that a people has imbibed), in which facts, logic and history have been shoved aside in favor of the whims of the wise collective.

Here are 20 signs that you might be living in such a blissful place:

1) When the executive branch has effectively become the legislative branch

President Obama has been pushing executive actions as a means of working around Congress in 2014. (Image Source: heartland.org)

President Obama has been pushing executive actions as a means of working around Congress in 2014. (Image Source: heartland.org)

2) When the notions of secure borders and national sovereignty are considered thinly-veiled euphemisms for racial hatred

3) When justice means determining a person is guilty before seeing any evidence, then rioting, looting and destroying property when said person does not even make it to trial

4) When those who riot, loot and destroy property are considered freedom-fighters, and those who peacefully assemble are considered radical extremists

In this June 19, 2013, photo, Tea Party activists attend a rally on the grounds of the Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, June 19, 2013. (Photo: AP)

In this June 19, 2013, photo, Tea Party activists attend a rally on the grounds of the Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, June 19, 2013. (Image Source: AP)

5) When criminals advise law enforcement on how to do its job

Continue reading at TheBlaze…

The Lebowski Economy: Creating an Infant Culture Where Government Decides and Self Sufficiency Subsides

“I mean, say what you want about the tenets of National Socialism, Dude, at least it’s an ethos.” – Walter Sobchak in “The Big Lebowski

When news broke that the Congressional Budget Office Report indicated that the equivalent of 2.5 million jobs would be lost by 2024 under Obamacare, to a chorus of laughable cheerleading that the “job-locked” would be “liberated” and America could now restore its national “work-life balance,” one man came to mind: Jeffrey Lebowski, properly known as the Dude, or, uh, His Dudeness, or uh, Duder, or El Duderino if you’re not into the whole brevity thing.

For I would submit that the explicit purpose of the progressive agenda is to create a nation of Lebowskis (Dudes) and Julias (Dudettes), or at least a two-class system in which big business and big labor are protected by government in the way that the Mafia protects your friendly local butcher, while Lebowskis and Julias are showered with benefits in exchange for votes.

If I sound cynical it’s because I’ve been watching a lot of “House of Cards” lately (culture matters).

Continue reading at TheBlaze…

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